CAI Managed IT blog
How a Mismanaged Cloud Can Undermine Your Security
There is no denying that the cloud has become one of the most popular options for a business to obtain the tools required for their operations. Despite this, it is equally important to acknowledge that there are many ways that the cloud could facilitate security threats if not managed properly. Let’s go over some of the issues that must be addressed if a business is going to successfully leverage cloud technology to its advantage.
Misconfigured Cloud Settings
While cloud tools and solutions have the potential to be highly effective, they need to be set up properly before they can meet this potential with any hope of remaining secure. As the cloud is supposed to be an accessible tool to help facilitate productive collaboration, any accidents or errors could create challenges that would work against that goal. One common outcome of these challenges: security shortcomings and vulnerabilities.
To this end, it becomes especially crucial to your business’ security (and by extension, its success) that all settings in your cloud are reviewed, checked, and otherwise confirmed to be correct on a fairly regular basis.
Ineffective Access Controls
One of a cloud solution’s greatest business advantages is the fact that access to the resources it holds isn’t tied to one location, greatly simplifying processes like remote work by enabling your team to utilize these resources whenever they need them wherever they are working. Having said this, it can become a challenge to simultaneously restrict data to only those who have the proper authorization to do so without properly implemented controls in place
In addition to this, you should also bear in mind how much a cybercriminal will tend to lean on the human element of a business as an exploitable weakness. To combat this, it is important that your team members are instructed on how to create secure passwords.
Back in the day, businesses had a relatively short list of threats to deal with, effectively boiling down to theft and vandalism. Now, however, the nature of our connected workspaces means that a far greater variety of threats could potentially harm a business. Cyberattacks are numerous, profitable for the cybercriminal, repeatable, and vastly varied in how they are shaped.
While modern organizations have the same concerns about theft and vandalism, they now need to worry about many different resources being stolen. Sure, they could have finances taken away, but they could also lose their customers’ payment information or protected data. This could result in fines, lost confidence from their market, legal action, and might even necessitate costly compensatory damages to be paid to those affected. Other threats don’t focus on a business’ finances, but on their productivity or even reputation. Denial-of-service attacks and ransomware get much of their leverage by preventing the targeted business from operating effectively. Plus, how motivated would you be to continue supporting a business that allowed your data to be exfiltrated, opening you up to identify theft?
With so many businesses moving to the cloud without properly paying attention to the security standards we reviewed above, cybercriminals now also see it as an opportunity for their purposes. Diligence and preparedness are both critical to preventing their success.
Finally, one of your greatest assets could very well be one of your greatest challenges when it comes to securely utilizing cloud resources: the team members you’ve brought on to keep your business running. Without the proper instruction, your team may not adjust to the cloud as smoothly as one would hope, potentially creating vulnerabilities that a cybercriminal could take advantage of.
Alternatively, there is always the chance that your team has someone less-than-trustworthy amongst its ranks, and this individual could potentially use their access to abuse the data your company relies on. The cloud’s accessible nature does make it more challenging—but not impossible—to detect such activities.
Turn to us for help with dealing with these cloud security challenges.
Our team of professionals has the experience and insight necessary to effectively spot cyberthreats that could negatively impact your business’ use of the cloud, and are ready to help you mitigate these efforts. To find out more about what we can do for your business and its security, reach out to us at (800) 422-4782.